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Sony's Plan To Tighten Security and Fight Hacktivism

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the try-making-people-less-angry dept.

Sony 247

mask.of.sanity writes "Sony Entertainment Network is rebuilding its information security posture to defend against hacktivism. It includes a security operations center that serves as a nerve center collating information on everything from staff phone calls, to CCTV, to PlayStation gamers. If it is successful, the counter intelligence-based system will be deployed across the entire company. 'At Sony, we are modifying our programs to deal less with state-sponsored [attacks] and more with socially-motivated hackers. It will be different,' said Chief Security Officer Brett Wahlin."

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*clap* *clap* (5, Interesting)

FrozenFood (2515360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323513)

good for them

pity I wont buy another sony product ever again.

Re:*clap* *clap* (0, Flamebait)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323587)

Just because of how Sony handled this? Please, after this fiasco they'll be the safest company to trust your info to. Sony didn't handle the breach well, nor did it inform customers as it should have, but guess what? NO OTHER COMPANY would have done ANYTHING different. I'll bet there are many that would've tried to deny the whole thing.

Re:*clap* *clap* (5, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323599)

You have to read between the lines here man.

They're not saying "We were attacked for being a socially irresponsible company, so we're going to do less evil shit." They're saying "We were attacked for doing evil shit, so we're going to keep doing evil shit and make it harder to successfully attack us."

Re:*clap* *clap* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323795)

They also say, that they will share their data with state sponsored hackers :)

Re:*clap* *clap* (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323907)

I would use the term "corporate entitlement" for it. They think the world owes them money because they produce luxury products. Bioware are doing exactly the same thing when their latest title has a bunch of shortcuts and removed (unless you pay extra) content. But in their head space they are entitled to do whatever they want and you are just a source of income who is allowed no opinion or input.

Corporations have figured out the public doesn't listen to the news any more. Their own greed is too high and self control too low, so Sony can pretty much piss in your face and demand you pay for it and the public will only see a shower and pay the price.

Re:*clap* *clap* (3, Funny)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323989)

Corporations have figured out the public doesn't listen to the news any more. Their own greed is too high and self control too low, so Sony can pretty much piss in your face and demand you pay for it and the public will only see a shower and pay the price.

Sure, gold prices are sky hight currently, so what did you expect?

Re:*clap* *clap* (3, Interesting)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324139)

Isn't that kinda how these big businesses work in general these days? Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Samsung, Motorola, Oracle, Intel, Dell, etc? I guess I'm just saying if someone has an issue with Sony they probably have an issue with the whole industry & it's practices, not /just/ Sony...

Re:*clap* *clap* (4, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324147)

I think once a business reaches a certain critical mass, evil is inevitable.

Are there any companies in the Fortune 500 (or even Fortune 1000) that aren't complete monsters?

Re:*clap* *clap* (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324299)

I think you have it backwards: If the company management isn't willing to do evil, the company will never reach that mass. Sooner or later the time will come when the management must choose between their principles and their duty to maximise profits - they can't have both.

Re:*clap* *clap* (5, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323671)

I don't know about him but I personally don't buy Sony because they have a serious "Hey, how can we REALLY buttfuck our customers HARD?" attitude. See ATRAC, Minidisc, memory stick, UMD, if given a chance they will completely ignore formats every else uses and is cheap for some proprietary throwback that is worse in every way for the consumer, no thanks.

Re:*clap* *clap* (0)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323797)

They've stopped doing that years ago. The PS3 uses blu-ray, usb, bluetooth, has a plain user-removable sata hard drive, reads and writes data from whatever kind of media you can plug into it, will work with off-the-shelf usb and bluetooth controllers, keyboards, mice and webcams. Compare to Microsoft (hyper-expensive proprietary drives, proprietary controllers, limited media playback) or Apple (proprietary connectors, proprietary software required to sync).

Re:*clap* *clap* (5, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323829)

And the Vita uses?

Oh that's right, proprietary "vita cards" for games, proprietary "vita memory cards" for storage, and even a non-standard data cable.

Good work!

Re:*clap* *clap* (4, Insightful)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324291)

That sucks. I'll only buy game consoles that distribute games on non-proprietary storage. Which one can I buy?

Re:*clap* *clap* (5, Insightful)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323873)

And guess who designed Blu-ray [wikipedia.org] and shoveled tons of money into the project to push it into the market [wikipedia.org] to destroy to rival HD DVD format [wikipedia.org] : Sony. Learn your history.

Also, comparing two very specific systems which are by definition very closed (gaming consoles) and a music player (which I guess you're going for with that Apple jibe) is hardly an objective comparison in the big picture. If that's all you know about these respective companies, fine, but please stay in your mom's basement.

Re:*clap* *clap* (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324249)

I think the only music players that are currently closed are those made by Apple ... the rest are pretty open, or at least use standard connectors and software.

Re:*clap* *clap* (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324253)

And guess who designed Blu-ray [wikipedia.org] and shoveled tons of money into the project to push it into the market [wikipedia.org] to destroy to rival HD DVD format [wikipedia.org]: Sony. Learn your history.

I don't understand what I have to learn. Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray were proprietary, patent- and DRM-laden standards. The proposers of both standards (including the ultimately evil Microsoft) threw tons on money on the respective standards. For once, the technically best format (Blu-Ray) won. What's wrong with that exactly?

Also, comparing two very specific systems which are by definition very closed (gaming consoles)

I don't undertand this either. I'm comparing the two currently available game consoles (PS3 and XBox 360). Both are very closed, but one is a lot more open than the other (the PS3), in particular, in the fact that it uses standard formats and connection methods, whereas the post I was responding to was claiming that Sony uses proprietary formats.

and a music player (which I guess you're going for with that Apple jibe)

Did you read the comment I was responding to, that talked about ATRAC and minidisc, and therefore Sony's music players? No you didn't.

please stay in your mom's basement.

And here comes the ad-hominem insult. This actually proves my point about anti-Sony hate, thank you.

Re:*clap* *clap* (4, Insightful)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324501)

Both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray were proprietary, patent- and DRM-laden standards. ... For once, the technically best format (Blu-Ray) won.

I'll just let these two sentences stand next to each other. They're too good. :)

It's not that Sony beat HD DVD which undermines your argument, it's that Blu-ray is a horrible technology, mostly exactly because it's DRM-laden. The blue laser is nice, the DRM and all the crap that goes onto a typical Blu-ray disc is not. What won is simply one of the two evils. Therefore, choosing Blu-ray as an "open" technology to show how good Sony is in using open technologies is just... let's call it a bad example.

Both are very closed, but one is a lot more open than the other (the PS3)

So one sucks less than the other, that doesn't make it a great example for "open".

whereas the post I was responding to was claiming that Sony uses proprietary formats.

Because the PS3 is the only device Sony is selling?

Re:*clap* *clap* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324399)

Oh, it seems you forgot who and why DVD came around, and all the people who pushed it, and for what reasons.

That is pretty hilarious. Especially when you look back at one in particular to their reactions to both Blu-ray and their eventual defeat, then the huge pissy fit they threw in front of the entire world as it sat back and watched.
I've never bought another Toshiba product since.
That was an embarrassing, worse than no-security Sony, in fact. At least they never threw a fit on levels 10 year olds would be jealous of.
In fact, Sony tend to actually reverse their "stance" on all those "evils" they have done... when they get caught at least.

Of course they are going to create a whole new card for PS Vita after the terrible piracy that happened on PSP.
It will likely not work in the slightest since it seems they took nothing from what they learned on Cell (apart from perhaps not leaving important keys out in the open...)
Cell SPE security was actually really solid until that key was read. If that mistake wasn't made, it'd have likely been even more secure.
Then they went and put a PSP emulator on it...
They sorely need to step up their security game or they are going to continue to get hacked.

Oh, wait, that's right, videogamers would rather see another videogame crash, not seeing that it was the worst thing to happen to gaming back then, and would be considerably worse now if it were to happen.
You don't want people like EA to take over, do you? Because it would be the likely case.

Re:*clap* *clap* (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323893)

Of all technologies, you choose to use DRM infested blu-ray as an example of user-friendly products?

Where to all these sock-puppets come from? Can we block them at the door? I guess some simple questions around OS and consumer gadgets should be enough to deter the worst.

Re:*clap* *clap* (2)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324385)

Where to all these sock-puppets come from? Can we block them at the door?

Dear Sony, after all the service I've done for you here on Slashdot, if when I get home I find a gift box full of PS vitas or tablets or cell phones or whatever you might consider appropriate to thank me, I wouldn't get offended.

Re:*clap* *clap* (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323933)

And today on our fun game show My Favorite Random Multi-National Conglomerate Sucks Less Than Your Random Multi-National Conglomerate, we introduce our first contestant: peppepz!

Re:*clap* *clap* (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324103)

Damn, wish I had some mod points right now. :D

Re:*clap* *clap* (1, Offtopic)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324285)

Even without mod points, you might try to actually respond to the facts that I put in my comment, instead of inciting the angry mobs against my person.

Re:*clap* *clap* (0)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324263)

Thanks for the ad-hominem hate attack. How about responding about the facts I mentioned in my post instead? By the way, if you look at my comment history, you'll find plenty of posts attacking most Multi-National Congolomerate, including Sony. You'll also see different moderation outcome depending on which particular Multi-National Conglomerate I was attacking at the time, but that's another story.

Re:*clap* *clap* (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324173)

The first example you gave countered your own point. Blu-ray is a very proprietary Sony format (that wasn't standard when the PS3 was released). HD-DVD was inferior from a technical point of view but from a licensing standpoint HD-DVD was far far superior to blu-ray.

Re:*clap* *clap* (2)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324275)

Who decides what standards are "proprietary" and what standards aren't? Can I implement HD-DVD without paying royalties to Toshiba? How come Blu-Ray "became a standard" after the PS3 was released?

Re:*clap* *clap* (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323809)

Just because of how Sony handled this? Please, after this fiasco they'll be the safest company to trust your info to. Sony didn't handle the breach well, nor did it inform customers as it should have, but guess what? NO OTHER COMPANY would have done ANYTHING different. I'll bet there are many that would've tried to deny the whole thing.

I'm socially motivated to never buy anything from Sony again as well, but it has nothing to do with whatever their latest stupid shananigans are. Sony earned a permaban with their rootkit. Remember that?

Re:*clap* *clap* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323905)

I remember. I've not bought a Sony product since and never will.

Re:*clap* *clap* (1)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324113)

ah i had forgotten but yes I do. I can completely understand if that is your reasoning

Re:*clap* *clap* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324031)

NO OTHER COMPANY would have done ANYTHING different.

Other companies don't try to fuck over their own customers at every opportunity. Nobody cares about the occasional security breach.

If Sony had any self-awareness, they might ask why they're the victim of so many "socially motivated hackers."

Re:*clap* *clap* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324155)

Sony didn't handle the breach well, nor did it inform customers as it should have, but guess what? NO OTHER COMPANY would have done ANYTHING different. I'll bet there are many that would've tried to deny the whole thing.

A common sense approach would be to assume that being repeatedly hacked would compel a company to take a more serious stance on security, but who's to say that this will lead to Sony being the safest company? Isn't it possible that other companies were already safer, and that Sony's example of incompetence will encourage others to improve security to avoid becoming the next cautionary tale? Random Internet Guy may be right, and may be wrong.

Random Internet guy reaches in to his ass to retrieve the claim, his use of capitals suggesting a high degree of confidence in his poop shoot platitudes. There is absolutely no sound reason to believe that "NO OTHER COMPANY would have done "ANYTHING" different [sic]". That is a bold assertion with no substance.

It's sad that so many in history saw their valuable insights suppressed, and in some cases, lost to future generations. Your droppings will remain, probably archived along with useful information such as Bieber's ruminations on agriculture. Future generations, if they trawl through this shit, will look at your posts with the same kind of bafflement that we'd show on reading about innocent women being burnt at the stake as witches, or some "modern" Jews thinking that it's perfectly normal to throw feces at skirt wearing school children.

I've run out of time for pointing out how absolutely dumb and ignorant you are. I'll see if I find some time later today to elaborate, as describing your idiocy could easily become a lifetime's work.

Re:*clap* *clap* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324267)

"NO OTHER COMPANY?" you say?

I remember seeing Dreamhost on here a couple months back after they noticed the potential existed that their systems were compromised. They immediately alerted their customers and reset passwords just to be safe. Because in the long run that was the best course of action.

Re:*clap* *clap* (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323691)

I can't even fully use the products I already have.

The new SEN, replacement for the PSN, has in its user agreementy a clause that says they can and will do anything they like with your user data, including giving it to any third party they feel like. If you have a problem with this you can't use the service.

That's me locked out of network features on the ps3 then.

Re:*clap* *clap* (1)

petsounds (593538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323721)

What personal data did you actually share with them, other than perhaps credit card information (which for many reasons, they wouldn't be sharing)? I'm not defending Sony, I'm just curious. If they want to share with 3rd parties that it took me about three years to finish Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, fine. If I was giving them a rich user profile, it'd be a different story.

Re:*clap* *clap* (5, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323747)

Name, address, gaming habits (every game you play, the times you play, how long for), any movies you may have downloaded from them, integrated tv services you've used...

These are just the things I know the box was sending to Sony from my protocol snooping a year or so back.

I'm not sure if the machine sends web history to Sony, or what you've been watching/listening to on the ps3 via UPnP/DLNA, but it wouldn't be beyond their capabilities.

Re:*clap* *clap* (2)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324323)

God, you really have to wonder what's going on in the brains of Sony managers. If they had embraced the hacking/modding community like e.g. Lego did or at least tolerated it silently, they'd have obtained tons of free content, fan pages, free customer service, new customers and new uses for their hardware. Instead, they are constantly yelling "fuck you" at their regular customers and, quite frankly, I doubt that there are any "power" users left who would buy a Sony product.

Re:*clap* *clap* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324413)

They don't want power users. They are a small, thrifty, hard to please minority. It's not worth the money to try and cater for them.

Re:*clap* *clap* (2)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324457)

But with every power user they also lose 5-10 ordinary customers. Or do you think my girlfriend or any of my friends will buy a Sony product after having asked me for advice?

wrong medication (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323517)

This is treating the symptom not the problem.

Re:wrong medication (1)

FormOfActionBanana (966779) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323545)

What do you propose they do... kill all the would-be attackers?

Re:wrong medication (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323615)

Here's a start:

1. Bring back OtherOS
2. Stop supporting CSS, AACS, HDCP and other forms of DRM
3. Apologise for installing rookits on people's computers without their knowledge
4. Apologise for taking legal action against people who circumvented their digital restrictions

Re:wrong medication (1, Insightful)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323851)

2. Stop supporting CSS, AACS, HDCP and other forms of DRM

That is, stop playing DVD, Blu-Rays, and drop the ability to connect to HDMI and DVI displays? If you don't like the above mentioned technologies, you can play unprotected media and connect the PS3 via SCART, VGA or component cables anyway.

It's not that Sony, like Google, is plotting to insert DRM into the open standard that governs the Web [engadget.com] .

3. Apologise for installing rookits on people's computers without their knowledge

Done. Seven years ago. And by the way, did Apple and other phone manufacturers issue any apology for installing CarrierIQ, which had privacy implications several orders of magnitude greater, on millions of phones?

4. Apologise for taking legal action against people who circumvented their digital restrictions

Do Google apologise when they do [mgmaps.com] just [linux-mag.com] that [searchenginejournal.com] ?

Re:wrong medication (3, Insightful)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323915)

2. Stop supporting CSS, AACS, HDCP and other forms of DRM

That is, stop playing DVD, Blu-Rays, and drop the ability to connect to HDMI and DVI displays?

That's the point, come up with a frickin' format that does not use DRM and distribute movies in said format (Sony is a mayor distributor and user of DRM'd formats).

If you don't like the above mentioned technologies, you can play unprotected media and connect the PS3 via SCART, VGA or component cables anyway.

We know you love your PS3, but why do the rest of us have to put up with crippled discs we want to play elsewhere?

It's not that Sony, like Google, is plotting to insert DRM into the open standard that governs the Web [engadget.com] .

No, because they've already inserted their DRM everywhere that matters to them.

3. Apologise for installing rookits on people's computers without their knowledge

Done. Seven years ago. And by the way, did Apple and other phone manufacturers issue any apology for installing CarrierIQ...

Interesting that you'd pick the one company by name that was the least weasel-worded about what it did and didn't use CarrieIQ for.

Re:wrong medication (0)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324321)

That's the point, come up with a frickin' format that does not use DRM and distribute movies in said format (Sony is a mayor distributor and user of DRM'd formats).

Great, when Hollywood will start distributing movies in any DRM-free form you'll be able to play them on the PS3. It supports a lot of DRM-free formats.

We know you love your PS3

Thanks for the ad-hominem attack. It's about the fifth one I've got today for posting a positive comment about a product of Sony.

but why do the rest of us have to put up with crippled discs we want to play elsewhere?

You don't have to. The PS3 is perfectly able to play uncrippled discs. That said, there are quite a lot of people around the world that actually like to pay an excessive amount of money to watch films, and here and today supporting DRM is the only way to have them as customers.

No, because they've already inserted their DRM everywhere that matters to them.

Interesting that you'd pick the one company by name that was the least weasel-worded about what it did and didn't use CarrieIQ for.

But curiously, Sony are the only ones that get bashed here on Slashdot. This is what I want to strike with my comments.

Re:wrong medication (1)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324463)

Great, when Hollywood will start distributing movies in any DRM-free form you'll be able to play them on the PS3. It supports a lot of DRM-free formats.

I don't care that I can play un-DRM'd content on a PS3. I don't have a PS3. But I do have to live with the restrictions of DRM'd Blu-ray discs, which gained in popularity thanks to such arguments as "well, it plays even on your game console, so what are you complaining about?" And Sony is a huge part of Hollywood. If they wanted to, they could distribute non-DRM'd content. Because Sony is a huge content distributor. And they are exactly the ones that insist on DRM.

Thanks for the ad-hominem attack. It's about the fifth one I've got today for posting a positive comment about a product of Sony.

I don't really have anything against Sony, believe me or not. But your defense, based virtually entirely on a single product, the PS3, is just too delicious.

But curiously, Sony are the only ones that get bashed here on Slashdot.

Oh, you must come back on the Apple-bash and Microsoft-hate days, it's fun then.

Re:wrong medication (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324215)

That is, stop playing DVD, Blu-Rays, and drop the ability to connect to HDMI and DVI displays?

Do DVDs, Blu-Rays, HDMI and DVI require digital restrictions? Last time I checked, they could all be used without it. The fact is, Sony (and other companies) actively choose to use those digital restrictions.

If you don't like the above mentioned technologies, you can play unprotected media and connect the PS3 via SCART, VGA or component cables anyway.

The supposed point of HDCP was to prevent people from getting really good quality video without using DRM (and prevent those evil pirates from pirating!!1!)

It's not that Sony, like Google, is plotting to insert DRM into the open standard that governs the Web [engadget.com]

Oh, so instead they inserted DRM into the "open" standard that governs television and multimedia playback. Besides, did I ever say I supported Google? Sorry, I don't.

Done. Seven years ago.

I don't see. They appear to have deleted all pages related to the rootkit scandal from their website.

Re:wrong medication (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324367)

Do DVDs, Blu-Rays, HDMI and DVI require digital restrictions? Last time I checked, they could all be used without it.

Yes, they require the DRM technologies (in that order) that the post I was responding to wanted Sony not to support. Some of them (DVD) allows them to be disabled. Some of them (HDMI) don't. All of them will require them in order to play back the media that you can actually buy in shops.

The supposed point of HDCP was to prevent people from getting really good quality video without using DRM (and prevent those evil pirates from pirating!!1!)

Correct. Fortunately it has been cracked.

Oh, so instead they inserted DRM into the "open" standard that governs television and multimedia playback. Besides, did I ever say I supported Google? Sorry, I don't.

But media playback is a traditionally DRM- and patent- infested territory, while the Web isn't (yet). I like the fact that you don't support Google when it's evil, let's meet on the next slashdot story about a Google evilness and then let's count how many we are there. But you'll have to post not anonymously, so you'll get the same downmods that I always get in those circumstances.

Re:wrong medication (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324489)

I have a strange, maybe backwards, idea, but it just might work: Produce what your customer wants, but, you know, with the actual intent to give him what he wants, not just the bait-and-switch strategy of showing him what he wants, waiting 'til he buys and then yanking it from his grasp to leave him with what YOU want.

It just might make people actually, you know, WANT to buy your products. I have a hunch it might work a lot better than trying to force people to buy your crap.

Re:wrong medication (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324481)

That's not even treating the symptom. That's just a painkiller so you don't even feel the symptom anymore.

Cheaper strategy (5, Insightful)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323529)

Don't be dicks.

Re:Cheaper strategy (0)

jon42689 (1098973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323569)

Oh how I wish I had mod points today. +5 Insightful

Re:Cheaper strategy (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323597)

Cuts both ways. While Sony has pissed me off lately, the hackers equally so. As a casual gamer, I'm so sick and tired of all these angsty hackers posing an "up your ass with a stance" attitude. Why the hell should I have to take flak from both sides just enjoy a little gaming? I tell ya, it's simply not worth my time or my security being compromised.

Screw this, I'm gaming elsewhere.

Re:Cheaper strategy (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323755)

He who lies down with dogs gets up with fleas.

You might want to check the species of your bedfellow.

It's not like Sony's sins are minor. They include bait and switch and mass hacking on a scale Anon. can't even aspire to. Because they have money, they have gone un-punished.

So, yeah, gaming elsewhere is probably a good idea.

Re:Cheaper strategy (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323635)

That only works to a point. Hackers frequently don't share the morals of normal people. Sony could easily do something completely innocuous, only to find that they've angered a bunch of internet thugs who respond by making Sony and their customers suffer.

It's akin to staying on the mob's good side so that they don't torch your shop. It might be cheaper and easier in the short term, but it's not a sustainable strategy. In the long run, you need to be able to defend yourself.

Re:Cheaper strategy (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323771)

Evidence suggests that being at least neutral greatly reduces your chances of being attacked. Sure, they MIGHT get attacked anyway, but they PROBABLY wouldn't be. The attacks have for the most part been well aimed so far.

Re:Cheaper strategy (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323845)

Evidence also suggests that the internet never, ever, ever forgives. Sony is evil in the minds of internet-people, and no amount of "being neutral" will change that any time soon. Are they just supposed to suffer all the beatdowns they get over the next ten years until people start to say, "Hey, that rootkit thing was a long time ago..."?

Re:Cheaper strategy (2)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324039)

Sony is evil in the minds of internet-people, and no amount of "being neutral" will change that any time soon.

No, but a large amount of "being good" would change that. Bringing back OtherOS, donating $25 million to the Mozilla Foundation, or opening a no-kill shelter for kittens would probably take a lot of heat off of them. Even though Google seems to have gotten away with it, "Don't be evil" is a pretty good rule to live by to keep armies of nerds off your ass.

Re:Cheaper strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324503)

donating $25 million to the Mozilla Foundation

Who are you even kidding? Barely anyone gives a damn about Mozilla anymore.
Everyone who did, besides the absolute Mozilla fanboys, left for Chrome(ium)

I used to like them, I even wanted to help push for XUL to become the framework for menu descriptions in HTML since it works really well. So much better than dealing with crappy, still very broken CSS.
Then it happened, the first signs of them going down that route.

They have absolutely destroyed their image thanks to them wrecking their own browser in every way possible.
Besides being able to wreck or create the interface in ways no other browser can, that is about the only decent feature it has. You want no chrome on the browser at all and throw all interface stuff in to menus? Well, pretty simply with some CSS and a few extensions.
Oh well. RIP Mozilla. Again. Maybe the 3rd time they come about, they will have learned not to mess things up...

Re:Cheaper strategy (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324109)

Well, it doesn't help that after some form of openness (ie otherOS, standardized inputs on the PS3), they immediately clamp shut (proprietary memory designed only for maximizing profit and for screwing gamers over) and that they always follow said process.

Re:Cheaper strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324089)

"Social" hackers generate a bunch of bad publicity, but there's many more attacks from people just trying to steal credit card numbers, passwords, or just wreak havok. They don't really care if you're a good company or not.

Re:Cheaper strategy (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324499)

No, but their hacks are much easier to hush up. Because you and them, you BOTH want nobody to know about it.

Re:Cheaper strategy (2)

Moleculo (1321509) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323773)

If that actually was cheaper, they'd probably be doing it already. Why do you think they became dicks in the first place, for the fun of it?

Re:Cheaper strategy (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324121)

Because Corporations generally dislike consumers, and Sony is at the top of the pile of disdain.
Oh, they love the consumers' wallets, of course.

Wrong use of word? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323537)

Hacktivism is to protest political ends. I belive the term is misused here...

Re:Wrong use of word? (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324051)

Hacktivism is to protest political ends. I belive the term is misused here...

Right. Unless all those credit card numbers were stolen to support the Club A Baby Seal for Supply-Side Jesus movement, it was just theft, not hactivism.

Wrong way of thinking (5, Insightful)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323551)

As part of the society, you should think about how not to become a target of hacking activism. Especially when it's impossible to crush every one of the "hackers".

Better yet, convert them into your loyal customers, and even better, direct their anger to your competitors.

Re:Wrong way of thinking (3, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323625)

That seems utterly impractical. The barrier to entry for attempting to hack is sufficiently low that any big company will offend people eventually, no matter what it does. Made a game I don't like, use boxes that are too large for shipping? Price a product some jackass feels entitled to at a point more than they can afford. Etc. etc. etc.

Sure, sony has earned a lot of their current hate. But every company has to realize that they will offend someone eventually, if nothing else than the thrill of trying to hack a big company.

From http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/index.html
The largets US Companies in 2011
Wal-Mart Stores
Exxon Mobil
Chevron
ConocoPhillips
Fannie Mae
General Electric
Berkshire Hathaway
General Motors
Bank of America
Ford Motor

I challenge you to find anyone on that list that hasn't pissed off a lot of people, intentionally or otherwise, and legitimately or otherwise, but there are still a lot of angry people at them. And you can keep going down the list.

Sony isn't any different, and even if they change their ways, people will still believe them evil a decade from now. But I don't think you do 100 billion dollars a year in business and not make enough people angry to cause all sorts of hacking problems. Even Warren Buffet has made enemies because he thinks he makes too much money and should be taxed more.

Re:Wrong way of thinking (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323753)

I'll grant you that just based on statistics and human nature, any company with a sufficiently-large customer base will invariably really piss off some minority sub-group of their customers. However, there's a difference between pissing off minor subgroups on some matter of debate (e.g. "Wal-mart sells eyeliner that was tested on rabbits! Let's protest these animal-haters!"), and taking flatly evil, anti-consumer actions that affect the entire customer-base in a negative way (e.g. several notable Sony debacles from the past).

It's like the difference between BofA hiking a subset of their customers' credit card interest rates to pad their profits (with due notice, according to the rules), and BofA deciding "Hey, traditional bank fees aren't really working out for us, so we've decided to just start stealing a flat 1.5% of everyone's checking balance every month". They're categorically different, and so is the response from the customer base.

Companies who avoid the really huge, categorically evil, moves tend not to get swamped in hacktivist attacks all the time. I work directly on internet-facing services (including in a security capacity) at a Fortune 1K company that's heavily involved in the tech/consumer world, and we've never had a hacktivist attack to date. We might someday, and we have some plans for that sort of event because it's irresponsible not to. But really our primary defense against this is that when *I* go into a meeting with a product development group, and I hear them suggest something really stupid that would likely cause a public Internet-based backlash, I flat-out tell them it's a stupid and irresponsible thing to do, and they back down.

Sony is getting exactly what they deserve, and it's deplorable that rather than try to turn their *actions* around, they've accepted that they're always going to act evil and modified their security policies to suit a constant condition of "We have a giant target painted on our backs".

Re:Wrong way of thinking (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323777)

So how many times has Anon attacked GE?

Re:Wrong way of thinking (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323983)

So how many times has Anon attacked GE?

I'd argue that there is very little data on GE's website for Anon to brag about... And the fact that GE is in a business where you seldom make enemies. I mean, if your lightbulb burns out a little too soon, you don't get all mad at GE. They sell 'dead' products. And most of them are there in a heavily regulated / saturated / mature market. Hard to distinguish them from the competition.

All that makes it a company that is less 'hatable' than SONY that screws with their customers on a weekly basis.

Re:Wrong way of thinking (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323971)

So you want your personal data to be at the mercy of a bunch of self-righteous hackers? While it's not a substitute for a more consumer-friendly policy, securing their systems is something they should have done long ago.

Uhhh Sony just one thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323557)

... didn't you make security staff cuts weeks before PSN got hacked?

It's called wising up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323585)

"deal less with state-sponsored [attacks] and more with socially-motivated hackers"

Where "socially-motivated" means "radical Marxist". Smart. It's going to be loose associations of communists that are a vastly bigger threat than the communist states of the world. Just like with Islamic terror.

After the horse left the barn (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323611)

About time they get it together - especially when your not the most liked kid on the block.

Can they turn on your Playstation Eye remotely? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323651)

All they have to do is push a download that turns on the Playstation Eye of people they don't like.

the expense needed to enforce rules in IT... (1)

steve.cri (2593117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323701)

... correlates with how stupid and high-handed these rules are. Make sane rules, and you only have to defend against a handful of criminals. On the other hand, impose some utter crap on people, and you face a whole legion of righteous adversaries. Good luck, Sony...

Hacktivism? Really? (2)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323707)

So shutting off PSN access for millions of gamers is now considered hacktivism? Going after Sony's game division, which has almost nothing to do with Sony's corporate division, is now hacktivism?

I know that the Slashdot crowd is extremely anti-Sony but I fail to see how denying paying consumers the ability to play games is hacktivism. Or preventing dozens of new games from getting released on the PSN store, and allowing those companies and artists to sell their titles, is hacktivism.

Re:Hacktivism? Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324091)

The gamers were (unfortunate) collateral damage - your point is like saying to the brits in 1940 that they shouldn't be hurting the poor unfortunate Swedes by mining the sea lanes and hurting their lucrative iron ore exports to a certain Germanic chap with a funny mustache. And I don't buy the "this bit of Sony is Evil, this bit isn't" crap - continuing the wartime analogies, it's up there with saying "The Waffen SS are fine, after all they don't have *that* much to do with the Totenkopfverbände" - the reality is that they are all part of the same verminous organisation!

Sony has persistently pursued anti-consumer DRM, outrageous hacking (look up the SonyBMG rootkit saga), backed over the top lawsuits that have made innocent people's lives miseries (read up on some of the Sony-backed RIAA lawsuits against grandmother without computers etc), and lobbied hard for onerous legislation (DMCA, SOPA etc) and agreements (ACTA, TPP etc). They are the vermin of the consumer entertainment industry.

Remember - "friends don't let friends buy Sony!"

Re:Hacktivism? Really? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324127)

I know that the Slashdot crowd is extremely anti-Sony but I fail to see how denying paying consumers the ability to play games is hacktivism. Or preventing dozens of new games from getting released on the PSN store, and allowing those companies and artists to sell their titles, is hacktivism.

Because in the loserboy nerds' collective turdbrained mind, the consumers are "puppets" of the "evil system" they "fight". In their feeble minds, throwing eggs at City Hall will stop the bulldozers from ripping up their playground. Were it for them, the Civil Rights movement would have simply consisted in drawing graffiti over a couple of walls near the police station and then go home fapping while chanting "lulz lulz we're anonymous we're legion we're invincible SUPER HEROES lulz lulz".

Those "heroes of nothing" will soon receive a nicely worded letter or a visit from a friendly cop. Then they will be crapping themselves and rat out everything they know about their accomplices, all the while spraying piss like frenzied waterhoses.

Everybody needs an Anti-Cyber-Threat-Center! (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323791)

NATO just dropped a few billion for one! Now SONY will have one! Where's yours!?!?!

I smell Y2k sized contract money now!

I am now a Anti-Cyber-Threat-Security-Response-Operations-Analysis-Coordination-Center Specialist!

In the train:
Passenger: "What line of work are you in?"
Me: "Cyber Security!"
Passenger: "Do I need that?"
Me: "Does your wife know about the email to your girlfriend on your laptop that I am reading right now?"
Passenger: "Ok, I'll buy some."
Passenger: "But do I need to wear that tinfoil hat . . . ?"

Hacktivists (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323817)

Oh i hate the term. Hackers dont hack the phone calls of the staff or hack into cctv to do harm.

Political activists use legitimate methods to increase their influence.

If you hack into phone calls for purposes different from demonstrating a problem then you are not a hacker. if you use force (like the Anonymous asshats) you are not an activist.

Now they discredit political activists and hackers at the same time by calling them hacktivists, joining two very different things. in order discredit both and connecting them to thinks none of both is related to.

Who decides what methods are legitimate? (4, Insightful)

Geof (153857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324035)

Political activists use legitimate methods to increase their influence.

And who, pray tell, decides what is legitimate?

Answering that question is what politics is all about. The point of engaging in politics is to determine legitimacy. Look at any political movement and you will see this struggle to define legitimacy. Legitimacy is not the starting point: it is the outcome. You are begging the question.

Which is, of course, because you are trying to propagate your definition of what is legitimate. You are not describing politics: you are engaged in it. You are not a disinterested obsever: you are a participant.

Re:Hacktivists (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324067)

Political activists use legitimate methods to increase their influence.

Yeah, like gerrymandering, suppressing voter turnout, diddling voting machines, and "losing" the ballots from precincts likely to vote the wrong way.

Re:Hacktivists (3, Insightful)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324233)

Political activists use legitimate methods to increase their influence.

So Rosa Parks wasn't an activist when she sat on the whites-only seat on the bus? Her entire point was that what should have been legitimate wasn't. Activism isn't about increasing your influence (that's more NGO territory - lobbying for a good cause), it's about bringing public attention to your cause. Very often the most effective way of doing that is publicly defying the rules to make a point.

Re: (1)

sites4you (2593357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39323875)

Well, no matter what kind of security operation they want or rebuild they can't prevent hackers to hack their game in the future.

Before you make your next Sony purchase (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323919)

Re:Before you make your next Sony purchase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324401)

Which automatically installed on Microsoft Windows computers ... I say, if you run that then you deserve what you get.

Sony rootkit (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323925)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_rootkit [wikipedia.org]

Never forget, never forgive.

Yeah, but are they ready for Dreamcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39323969)

The classic 1998 commercial, original 90 second version
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlRPU5XxWlA [youtube.com]

Re:Yeah, but are they ready for Dreamcast? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324431)

Another reason to hate Sony: the Dreamcast's fair shot was ruined by their lies. They released absurd specs that made everyone think the PS2 was much more powerful than it actually was.

Sony's CSO has invented time travel! (3, Interesting)

dstone (191334) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324037)

TFA claims that Sony's new CSO, Brett Wahlin, "served as a counter-intelligence officer in the US Military for eight years during the Cold War." The final year of the cold war is generally agreed to be 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved. This suggests he started working as a C-I officer no later than 1984. Yet the photo in his recent bio [sfisaca.org] suggests he's in his early 40s now. So either 1) he's a prodigy and worked for the US military during high school, or 2) he can travel in time. Either way, the hacktivists might have met their match! Well played, Sony.

Re:Sony's CSO has invented time travel! (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324271)

or ... 3) Once again, Sony is lying.

uncovering flaws (0)

Max_W (812974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324055)

Say, policemen go along the sidewalk in bulletproof vests. The vests have a "week point", a "flaw", - the neck and legs are not completely protected.

Should one want to point this bulletproof vest's vulnerability as a service to community by shooting at policemen' weak points?

(The correct answer certainly is: no).

Re:uncovering flaws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324229)

Wow, did you get your brain at a GOP auction ?

There's so little overlap between the 2 things you describe you might aswell compare a puddle of vomit to an Apache helicopter.

First off, it's pretty weak to compare (possibly lethal) physical harm, to personal and/or corporate information leaks.

Second, Sony gets paid to run their playstation franchise and to do that they say they require certain amounts of customer information, in return for giving them that, they have a moral and contractual obligation to handle such stuff with the proper amount of care. Not doing so doesn't cause them any direct harm, but it does harm the countless customers. They decided not to take proper (or even remotely reasonable care) of the stuff, and things went wrong. They also decided to directly screw their customers on many occasions (such as removing features post-sale, injecting rootkits with their products, etc.), causing friction between themselves and some of the general public. It's very hard to say Sony was a victim here, if any one of 99% of existing companies in the world (not just major corporations) worked like this, they would surely be ruined after this (which also happens to be a good motivator to do whatever you can to prevent such a thing).

As for policemen, it's not their job to be bulletproof, they wear some amount of tactical gear to lower the chance of getting hurt, but they're all fully aware that there's a million other ways to get hurt that they aren't immune to. For them its a balancing act between safety and being able to accomplish their job. The fact that the vest doesnt protect the arms isn't a vulnerability, it's just not one of its features, and "informing" the officer of this would be more akin to pointing out to Sony that the playstation can't act as a timetravelling device. Both acts are obvious and unneccecary.

Now if a policeofficer turns against the people he's supposed to protect, steals their money/goods while in uniform, shoots unarmed people and plants guns on them, etc. Then yes, eventually the populace is gonna turn against him, and someone will send the message that "he's not as secure as he thinks he is" the rough way, by shooting him in the back of the head. A similar action, tho not in a physical level, happened with Sony.

Neither hacking Sony, nor shooting that fictional cop is a legal or just action, but in both cases a big part of the blame lies with the "victim".

Re:uncovering flaws (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324469)

Well yeah, she was dressed like a slut.

Uh (3, Insightful)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324101)

Why not orient your company and your policies so as not to actively piss off people who like tinkering with their own electronics and people who don't like DRM and spyware-riddled merchandise?

Given Sony support for the DMCA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39324137)

Why was anyone buying PS whatevres let alone a month to month service?

Cheapskates! (2)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39324161)

There are cushier jobs than leading Sony Entertainment Network’s burgeoning security shop, but Brett Wahlin was never one to shy from a challenge. So when the entertainment giant looked to revamp its security in the wake of the devastating hacking attacks against its PlayStation Network last year, the former McAfee Chief Security Officer answered the call.

McAfee, seriously? What, they couldnt shell out a few more bucks to get a guy from Norton? :)

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